Friday, August 15, 2008

Cordillera Autonomous Region

Isneg live in the Northwesterly end of Northern Luzon, in the upper half of Cordillera Province known as Kalinga-Apayao. Isneg can described as of slender and graceful structure, with a good manners such as kind, hospitable and generous, possessed with the spirit of self-reliance and courage and clearly artistic in their temperament. They are living in just simple life. Their main staple food is rice which they have traditionally produced in abundance. Aside from that, other crops raised are corn, taro, sweet potato, sugar cane for making Basi or sugar cane wine, bananas, yams, and other tubers, the planting of which are all preceded by appropriate rituals and ceremonies. They can have their own land through the first use or pioneer principles are: the banuwag (swidden) the sarra or angnganupan (forest and hunting grounds) and the usat or angnigayan (water and aquatic resources). They can also have land through tawid or inheritance.
The Isneg women traditionally give birth in a kneeling position, using a mushroom as a talisman to ensure a succesful delivery. And like the other provinces, the girl's parents allow courtship to take place in their house, in their presence. If the suitor has become acceptable he can sleep in the home of the girl for several nights. Sexual relationship takes place,after the boy's parents discussed the matter of engagement and marriage. And they discussed about the tadug or the price of the bride.
There are actually no gods or hierarchical in the other world of Isneg, only good or bad spirits.
The Tingguian or Itneg are the other early inhabitants in Abra. Abra occupies the Western portion of the Cordillera Region in Northern Luzon. This provinces is hemmed in by the towering mountain ranges of the Ilocos in the West and the Cordillera Central in East. Most Tingguians are farmers who tend rice in kaingins and rice teraces. Their major crops are rice, corn, and root crops; and such commercial produce as coffee, tobacco, and coconut.
Ifugao refers to a group of people living in Ifugao province in the Central Cordillera mountains of Northern Luzon. The name Ifugao may also have been derived from the word "ipugo" which means from the hill. They live at the most rugged and mountainous part of the country. They harvest rice and variety of crops and vegetables. The lounge chair hagibi is a status symbol indicating the family belongs to Kadangyan class or Aristocracy. The Ifugao believe that the universe is divided into five worlds or region: the skyworld called Kabunian, the Earth world called pugaw; the underworld called dalum; the downstream region or lagod; and the upstream region called dayya or daiya. Beneath the world is a substream called dagah-na. Their houses is a three-level stucture with the spherical interior with no windows and with only a front and back door for ventilation. About musical instruments, gangsa or gangha are the most popular. Ayyuding and babbong are the string instruments made of bamboo and rattan. Ungiyong is a noseflute made of bamboo while Tongali is a mouth flute. Ritual song is called Alim while Hudhud is a non-ritual song, the liwliwa and the Salidummay. The way of their living is very different even their traditions.
The term "Bontocs" refers to the people of the Mountain Province . The main agricultural product of the Bontoc is rice, of which there are two kinds: the chinacon, which is the superior variety, and the pak-ang. Sweet potato and other crops like coffee, millet, beans, bananas, persimmon, tangerines, cabbages , carrots and cauliflowers are also produced. They believe that their laws were given them by Lumawig, their culture hero, when he came to live as one of them. There are three social classes in the Bontoc community: the Kadangyan/ Kachagyan (the traditional rich), the wad-ay ngachara (the middle class), and the pusi/lawa (the poor). The Bontoc also believe in the Anitos or Spirits of their anscestors and in spirits dwelling in nature. And their god is Lumawig, their culture hero and son of the god Kabunian.
Kankanays are the third largest cultural community in the mountain province. They practice three types of agriculture: slash-and-burn, terracing for wet rice production, and holticulture. Members of the family are expected to do their responsibilities related to economic and ritual activities. The Kadanyan or baknang occupies the top most rank a hereditary "aristocracy" or the richest and the second rank are the independent property holders called komidwa. Kodo is the poor and who are individuals or families who do not own riceland and other valuable possessions.
The Kalinga and other Cordillera people are believed to have arrived in separate migrations from the Southeastern and eastern Asia. The classes in their society are Kapus(the lowest class, baknang (middle class) and kadangyan (the upper class) where leaders and kinship groups and the pangat belong. Arranged marriage is rarely practiced today except among wealthy families in Southern Kalinga. Kalinga literature consists of riddles, legends, chanted or sung myths, epics or ballads. Ullalim is the epic of the Kalinga, a mountain tribe in Luzon.

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